New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration has projected the state will see $1.25 billion in revenues from legalized cannabis sales over a 5-year span starting next year, CNHI reports. In her state budget proposal, Hochul, a Democrat, officially proposed her planned $200 million public-private social equity fund to help people who were disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs open a cannabis business in the Empire State.
Under the state’s legalization law approved last year, the state’s equity fund will provide loans, grants, and incubator programs to help those who qualify for the assistance to become involved in the industry. Those eligible for the equity applications include disabled veterans, distressed farmers, and women- and minority-owned businesses. State Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D) has introduced bills to broaden the social equity program to include transgender, gay and lesbian, and non-binary people.
Cooney has also drafted a bill that would allow the issuing of conditional cultivation licenses that would help jumpstart the supply chain.
New York‘s adult-use sales are expected sometime next year but Freeman Klopott, spokesperson for the state Cannabis Management Office, said the agency has already made strides in implementing cannabis reforms.
“In just a few short months, we’ve already expanded access to the Medical Cannabis Program, officially launched the Cannabinoid Hemp Program, and have recruited and established a pipeline of top talent to join the rapidly growing Office of Cannabis Management team,” he said, noting that regulators are working “as fast as possible while also making sure we do it the right way and create equitable opportunity where other states have failed.”
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